Royds Withy King advises on Bath City Football Club takeover
Lawyers from Royds Withy King’s Corporate and Commercial team acted as advisers to Bath City Football Club on its transition to community ownership, with Bath City Supporters Society acquiring a majority shareholding (51%) and control of the board of directors.
James Worrall, Katharine Mortimer and James Barratt of Royds Withy King’s Corporate and Commercial team in Bath advised the club and its board of directors on all aspects of the deal, from the start of the negotiations through to completion.
Their role involved advising on the issue of 300,000 new shares in the club to the Supporters Society, the negotiation of new financial facilities and a broader financial restructuring of the club, including renegotiating the payment terms of the club’s debts. Paul Williams, the existing Chairman, becomes Chairman of Football and four new directors join the board including former Bath Rugby CEO Nick Blofeld, who becomes Chairman. John Reynolds, Andrew Pierce and Shane Morgan remain directors to provide continuity and experience.
Senior associate James Worrall, who led Royds Withy King’s transaction team, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Bath City Football Club and are delighted to have played a hands-on role in achieving a great result for the club and its stakeholders. We are confident that the club has a bright and exciting future ahead of it and this transaction will help it achieve its aims of becoming a sustainable and successful business on and off the pitch.
“This was a complex transaction involving a large number of parties. All credit to the hard work of existing Chairman Paul Williams, the generosity of the existing shareholder group, the fundraising efforts of the Supporters Society and to the wider community for getting behind the Big Bath City Bid campaign and helping to raise the significant sums needed to make this transaction feasible.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the club as it begins a new chapter in its history, with an increased playing budget and a host of new opportunities. We have no doubt that the Bath community will get behind the club again next season and we look forward to being in the stands ourselves cheering the team on.”
Paul Williams, Chairman of Football on the new board, added: “I’m really pleased to reach this stage of the process that gives us the stability to plan for success on the pitch, while new resources and finance enable us to build the business off the pitch and make it sustainable for the long run. One of the most tangible things fans can see is that we’ve approved an enhanced playing budget for next season that will enable Manager Gary Owers to plan and recruit for a serious tilt at promotion. Our thanks to Royds Withy King for their ongoing support and the important role they played.”
Photo caption: L-R Katharine Mortimer, James Worrall, Chairman of Football at Bath City Paul Williams and James Barratt
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